CoD 2021 setting: What will the next Call of Duty game be?

James Busby
cod 2021 setting

The Call of Duty rumor mill has been steadily rumbling as FPS fans begin to point their crosshairs towards another title. As fans guess about where the ever-popular series could head next, we have pieced together the most likely CoD 2021 settings.

From the blood-soaked battlefields of WWII to the fanciful firefights of the future, Call of Duty has visited numerous conflicts since it first graced our screens back in 2003. During this time, the series has developed upon its punchy gunplay, unique perk system, deadly killstreaks, and fast-paced combat. Of course, these core elements are largely dependent on each title’s setting – an area that shapes every facet of the game. 

Whether you’re a fan of the series’ recent modern outings or would prefer CoD 2021 to return to its WWII roots, there’s no denying just how pivotal particular conflicts are to the franchise. Not only do they determine the general look and feel of the game, but they also impact everything from the game’s campaign, multiplayer, guns, and modes. 

With that in mind, let’s look at the most plausible conflicts CoD 2021 could tackle next. 

World at war

Call of Duty WWII
There are still so many WWII tales that have been left untold in Call of Duty.

Judging from the current rumors and general timeline it certainly seems plausible that CoD 2021 could return to the WWII setting. After all, it would make sense given Sledgehammer Games is largely speculated to be the next developer. While Sledgehammer’s previous venture into CoD original stomping grounds didn’t exactly go down well with players, there’s still a lot of untold tales and areas of the conflict we have still yet to see. 

Even revisiting areas previously depicted in CoD’s original trilogy would make for an amazing spectacle, especially given the advancement in visuals. Given WWII’s huge scale, there is a nearly endless amount of locations that could be visited. To make things even better, Warzone integration would also be perfect and would enable players to utilize iconic guns like the Thompson, PPSh-41, Springfield, MP40, and Mosin–Nagant. 

Welcome to the jungle

Black Ops Cold War
The Black Ops series is as close as we’ve gotten to a Vietnam setting.

Treyarch’s Black Ops series has touched on the Vietnam war during its numerous missions with Woods and co, but it has yet to fully commit to the controversial conflict. After all, one of Black Ops Cold War’s standout missions “Fracture Jaw” gave fans a taste of what a modern Vietnam game could look like. 

We’d love to see CoD 2021 venture deeper into the jungle and show us battles from both the US/Southern Vietnam to that of the Northern Vietnam perspective. Not only is this period of time rich with iconic battles like the Tet Offensive and the Fall of Saigon, it also features a huge variety of weaponry. 

Black Ops Cold War
There’s certainly no shortage of iconic weaponry in this particular conflict.

This would enable players to utilize guns from both the U.S., South Korean, Australian, New Zealand, and South and North Vietnamese forces. Due to the conflict taking place just five years after the second world war, a lot of the weapons from World War II and the First Indochina War were used by both the PAVN (People’s Army of Vietnam) and the US/allied forces during the offensive. 

While the Vietnam War is certainly shrouded in controversy, the Call of Duty franchise has never shied away from depicting the darker aspects of war. Quite whether we’ll here hear Ride of the Valkyries the next time we jump into the gunship remains to be seen. 

Not so Advanced Warfare

Advanced Warfare mobility
Advanced Warfare’s mobility system still remains divisive in the CoD community.

With a lot of rumors pointing towards Sledgehammer games as CoD 2021’s lead developer, a lot of fans believe that we could see the return of Advanced Warfare. This futuristic title drastically switched up gameplay thanks to the Exo suit movement system, which gave players more mobility than ever before. 

However, the added dashes and aerial boosts didn’t prove popular among fans that preferred the boots on the ground approach to combat. Renowned Call of Duty Leaker, Tom Henderson believes that if Sledgehammer is working on an Advanced Warfare title, then the game will likely be a prequel. 

Advanced Warfare weapons
Toning down the laser rifles and avoiding jetpacks might help alleviate any issues.

This would certainly help to alleviate the previous game’s clunky movement system, while also removing the laser-themed weapons from the current arsenal. Advanced Warfare was set between 2054 and 2061, so a title that takes place 10 to 20 years before that would certainly be interesting. 

Not only would a prequel cater to those that prefer modern Call of Duty settings, but it would also cut out a lot of the sci-fi fluff that comes with it. 

Modern Warfare sequel

MW2 Campaign remastered
No CoD game has been able to replicate the sheer mayhem of MW2’s multiplayer.

Call of Duty fans have wanted a Modern Warfare 2 remaster for years and while the campaign received a visual update with the launch of Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered, it didn’t scratch that multiplayer itch. The remastered campaign launched last year and there are still no signs of a multiplayer expansion. 

It’s widely speculated that the multiplayer remaster was cut due to fears that it would split the community and drive players away from Modern Warfare/Black Ops Cold War. After all, MW2 is an insanely popular title and one that many CoD fans would be more than happy to revisit. 

There was even a rumor that Call of Duty 2021 could be a follow-up to Modern Warfare 3 or a direct continuation from the 2019 Modern Warfare reboot. Whether Call of Duty will choose to ditch the numbered approach to future releases remain to be seen, but Black Ops Cold War certainly proves that it is likely. 

For now, though, these are the most likely settings that CoD 2021 could visit. Make sure you check out our CoD 2021 hub for all the latest leaks, rumors, release date, and developer updates. 

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About The Author

James is Dexerto's Associate Games Editor who joined the website in 2020. He graduated from university with a degree in Journalism, before spending four years freelancing for GamesRadar+, PCGamesN, RPS, LoL Esports, Red Bull Gaming, and many more. You can find him covering everything from CoD, Apex Legends, Genshin Impact, and Monster Hunter. Need to get in touch? Email James at